Doors will open at 7:00 pm, with the concert beginning at 7:30 pm.
Tickets $15 in advance, $20 at the door: Available online at Brown Paper Tickets, and in person at the Cirque Cyclery, Backcountry Bistro and the Theatre.
“Articulate and gifted, Gabrielle Louise is an artist who comes to music from a literary vantage point, first and foremost… But the lyrics standing alone are only part of the story. She executes a captivating balance of heartache and resolve.”
–David McGee, contributor to Rolling Stone, Spin and more.
Eccentric, charismatic, thoughtful, literate and eclectic are just a few of the myriad words that can be used to describe Colorado-based singer-songwriter Gabrielle Louise. Words fail, however, to fully capture the wide-ranging emotional and musical landscape covered by the artist within her latest collection, If the Static Clears, a thoroughly satisfying blend of styles from hardy bluegrass and folk to slinky, seductive jazz. Accompanied by a dazzling collection of lyrics that run the gamut from sweetly intimate to boldly revealing, If the Static Clears is nothing less than a revelation, an essential Americana, folk-roots album.
Among the most striking elements of If the Static Clears is the plethora of source material and personal experiences that inspired and informed its distinctive list of songs. Summers spent in Buenos Aires are recalled in the gentle “Someone Else’s Life,” while “The Graveyard Ballet,” a hypnotic ballad, finds the artist collaborating with a physicist, mirroring the patterns of a 13-foot pendulum wave. She also explores the turbulent and passionate love affair of pioneering Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera in the spellbinding “No Moon at All,” recalling the literal sparks that accompanied the couple’s first passionate kiss.
In addition to the nuanced observations of love throughout its many stages, there are tunes such as the delightfully woozy “Another Round on Me,” which adds an air of witty sophistication to the tradition of crowd-pleasing drinking songs, and serves as a testament to Gabrielle’s compelling live performances, which have seen her sharing stages over the past decade with such iconic performers as Richie Havens, Guy Clark and Eliza Gilkyson.
A poet, prose writer, and seasoned orator, Gabrielle has also presented a talk on autobiographical writing at TEDx, an independently organized TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) event. Her talk, “The Breath of Experience,” stresses the importance of making time to both “inhale” what others tell us and mindfully “exhale” our own creative impressions of those stories. From meditative start to breathtaking finish, the 11 songs on If the Static Clears offer ample opportunity to do just that.
Born in Newburgh, Maine, to parents who were traveling musicians, Gabrielle Louise was just 10 months old when the family began an odyssey that resulted in something like a “military brat” upbringing. “I was a musical brat. It was really quite a whirlwind,” she recounts, noting that her parents arrived at gigs with Gabrielle and her siblings in tow. With the family moving frequently, Gabrielle attended 12 different schools before graduating high school. “They carted the four of us around in an Airstream with wonderful rainbow curtains and all kinds of 1970s ‘Save the Bears’ and ‘Save the Forests’ pins all over the place,” she recalls with a laugh.
When Gabrielle was a child, her parents played as a musical duo called Los Dos (the Two). She recalls being enthralled by their studio rehearsal, so much so that they had to lock her out so that they could continue. “I remember it was raining but I wanted to hear the music so badly that I laid there in the rain with my ear pressed up against the door!” she explains. “Some of my earliest musical memories are listening to ABBA. I would stand on a chair to put ABBA in the CD player and absolutely rock out.”
When Gabrielle was 12, her father began playing lead guitar for country star Michael Martin Murphey, at which point she and her mother became a singing duo called Mother Gabrielle. “We always played music from the beginning,” she says. “My parents had hopes that I would become a performer—they chose my name as a stage name. So I didn’t have much choice. I had to use that one or I was going to be in trouble!”
After studying at Michigan’s prestigious Interlochen Center for the Arts, she studied songwriting at another influential institution, Berklee College of Music in Boston. While attending Berklee, she began touring as a solo artist, and has rarely been off the road since. “I was really ambitious at that time,” she recalls. “I was coming out with a record every year.”
Since her debut, Gabrielle has released a handful of acclaimed independent albums, including 2013’s brilliant (and beautifully packaged) The Bird in My Chest, which contains her lyrics, along with short stories and poems, all of which are reflective of the vibrant lyrical approach of one of her greatest influences, Joni Mitchell. “There is a famous anecdote,” she says. “A fan once told Joni Mitchell, ‘Girl, you make me see pictures in my head.’ And that’s something I aspire toward as a songwriter, to try and help my audience see imagery, to see tiny little movies. Joni Mitchell was a master of that.”
“Almost everything that you hear just happened as it happened in the studio,” she says of the 11 songs on If the Static Clears. “I really love performances, as they happen. Because it creates a musical sound that is akin to handwriting as opposed to typography. It’s got some really specific character in it. It’s going to look and sound like me as a human being, flaws and all.”
An ethereal, esoteric songwriter and perfectly imperfect performer, with If the Static Clears, Gabrielle Louise has created a record that is elegant, earthly and accessible, a portrait not only of her most trusted musical collaborators but of her own evolution as an artist.